Another Ash Wednesday

In a transformer
world, carpet
tiles are never new
even when they are—

melted thumb
tacks or dog
collars in a former
life. If I could memorize

a color, I wouldn’t need
a sample room
tucked inside
a satchel. If I could match

that patent
leather red with a ceiling
that used to be

a row
of chairs, I wouldn’t want
to reminisce
about those lacquer days.

Lemon in Her Water

A reminder to taste
life. A gritty pressure
she climbs the old freight

house stairs—fair trade
and organic maybe, these coffee beans
he roasts are not grown locally

in some Minnesota backyard. A transplant,
she will never be as sustainable

as those local boys
she’s chased into bars, ditches,
haystacks, church

basements, the mouth
of the Mississippi. She’s a trickle
trying to cut a figure

worth restoring. Lime
was her father’s choice.